AMPHIBIAWEB

Ichthyophiidae

57 species in 2 genera

Commonly Called Asian Caecilians, Fish Caecilians, Asian Tailed Caecilians


Ichthyophis bannanicus
Photo by Nikolai Orlov
(Click for family gallery)

Ichthyophiids can be diagnosed by the combination of partial external division of the atrium and a long anterior pericardial space. These caecilians have true tails (like rhinatrematids) with caudal vertebrae, generally a counter-sunk lower jaw, an advanced dual jaw closing mechanism and primary annuli subdivided by secondary and sometimes tertiary annuli (absent in the genus Uraeotyphlus). Annuli in some species are straight posteriorly but angled anteriorly when viewed ventrally. Dermal scales are found in annular grooves. The tentacular opening lies between the nostrils and the eye or closer to the eye, or anterior on the snout below the nostril (as in Uraeotyphlus). Unlike rhinatrematids, ichthyophiid skulls are more solidly roofed (stegokrotaphic). The mouth may be terminal or subterminal. Members of this family may reach 500 mm, with the smallest species at 135 mm total length. Clutches are laid in moist soil or a burrow near water (ponds or streams). Females attend their clutches until larvae emerge to complete their metamorphosis in water.

Much is still unknown about the natural history of these species.

Ichthyophiids are found in South and Southeast Asia. The family Ichthyophiidae has undergone some taxonomic revision, and now includes Uraeotyphlus, formerly placed in its own family (see Wilkinson et al. 2011).

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Fossorial, Terrestrial
  • Occurs in a variety of habitat, primary and secondary forests, agricultural fields or plantings (e.g., tea plantations)
  • Adults have a true tail although short with caudal vertebrae
  • Eggs are laid in moist soil or underground chambers near water where the female cares for the eggs until the larvae hatch. The gilled larvae then move to nearby water (standing or moving) to complete development
  • Morphological features include: 1) distinct primary annuli, divided by secondary grooves; 2) generally a counter-sunk lower jaw, an advanced dual jaw closing mechanisml; 3) mouth terminal or subterminal; 4) dermal scales present in primary grooves; 5) skull solidly roofed (stegokrotaphic)
  • Distribution limited to South and Southeast Asia

Relevant Reference

Wilkinson, M., San Mauro, D., Sherratt, E., and Gower, D. J. 2011. A nine-family classification of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Zootaxa 2874: 41-64.

Vitt, L. J., and J. P. Caldwell. 2013. Herpetology. An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Fourth Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Genus Ichthyophis (50 species)
Ichthyophis acuminatus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis alfredi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis asplenius no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis atricollaris no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis bannanicus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis beddomei AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis bernisi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis biangularis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis billitonensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis bombayensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis cardamomensis AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis catlocensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis chaloensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis daribokensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis davidi AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis dulitensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis elongatus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis garoensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis glandulosus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis glutinosus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis humphreyi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis hypocyaneus AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis javanicus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis khumhzi AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis kodaguensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis kohtaoensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis lakimi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis laosensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis larutensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis longicephalus AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis mindanaoensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis monochrous no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis moustakius AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis multicolor AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis nguyenorum no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis nigroflavus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis nokrekensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis orthoplicatus AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis paucidentulus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis paucisulcus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis pauli no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis pseudangularis AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis sendenyu AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis sikkimensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis singaporensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis sumatranus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis supachaii no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis tricolor no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis weberi AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ichthyophis youngorum no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Uraeotyphlus (7 species)
Uraeotyphlus gansi AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Uraeotyphlus interruptus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Uraeotyphlus malabaricus AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Uraeotyphlus menoni AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Uraeotyphlus narayani AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Uraeotyphlus oommeni no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Uraeotyphlus oxyurus AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video


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